Senior Freeze tax break isn’t automatic

Ask NJMoneyHelp

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Q. Do I have to fill out a form every year for the Senior Freeze?
— Hater of paperwork

A. Let’s go over the Senior Freeze.

The Senior Freeze property tax reimbursement program reimburses eligible senior citizens and disabled persons for property tax or mobile home park site fee increases on their principal residence, said Abby Rosen, a certified financial planner with RegentAtlantic in Morristown.

To qualify, you must meet all the eligibility requirements for each year from the base year through the application year, currently 2016.

You qualify if you, or your spouse or civil union partner, were:

1) 65 or older; or actually receiving Federal Social Security disability benefit payments (not benefit payments received on behalf of someone else).
2) You lived in New Jersey continuously for at least the last 10 years, as either a homeowner or a renter.
3) Homeowners: You owned and lived in your current home for at least the last three years. Mobile Home Owners: You leased a site in a mobile home park where you placed a manufactured or mobile home that you owned for at least the last three years.
4) Homeowners: You paid the full amount of the property taxes due on your home. Mobile Home Owners: You paid the full amount of mobile home park site fees due.
5) Your income did not exceed $87,007 for 2015 and $70,000 for 2016, as long as they meet all other requirements. Applicants whose income was over $70,000 but was $87,007 or less can establish their eligibility for future reimbursements by filing an application by the due date.

So yes, you must fill in a form every year to participate in the Senior Freeze, Rosen said.

“A form PTR-2 should be mailed to you annually if you filed an application the prior year and met all eligibility requirements,” she said. “You must file a PTR-1 if it’s your first time applying or you were ineligible the prior year.”

Rosen said you must file your application (Form PTR-1 or PTR-2) for 2016 on or before the extended due date of October 18, 2017. The original due date was June 1, 2017.

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